Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says it’s up to the U.S. Senate to get their support lined up on health care bill before the House will take action. Braley says his colleagues in the house are going to want to see “a very clear indication” that senate majority leader Harry Reed has the votes to fix the problems in the senate bill before they move forward on voting on the Senate bill or a reconciliation bill that would combine efforts of the house and senate.
Braley says a verbal assurance from the Senate will likely not be enough. “I’m guessing that there’s gonna have to be some sort of written documentation that indicates the Senate can deliver, or else it’s going to be extremely difficult to convince House members,” Braley says, “that as much as we want to see health care reform, putting your name on a bill without an assurance it’s going to pass, especially when there are 290 bills sitting at the Senate that we’ve already passed in the House, that’s a tall challenge.”
Braley says he has faith in the president and leaders in the House and Senate that they can move things forward. He says right now the chances of getting the votes needed in the House are better than even. Braley says there is a greater than 50% likelihood that the Democratic leadership can get the 216 votes needed. “It will be enormously difficult and it’s going to take a lot of conversations among members of the caucus to get where we want to go, but I’m convinced that doing nothing is not and option,” Braley says.
President Barrack Obama today said it’s time for Congress to vote up or down on healthcare and is supporting a plan in the U.S. Senate that would allow them to pass the bill with only 51 votes.